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Sochi Games still a possibility for Plushenko

Russian skater continues to train

Evgeni Plushenko hopes to skate competitively next season.
Evgeni Plushenko hopes to skate competitively next season. (Getty Images)

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By Vladislav Luchianov, special to icenetwork.com
(03/03/2011) - Evgeni Plushenko is holding a training camp in St. Petersburg, Russia, even though he is not a frequent visitor to his hometown.

With a grueling schedule of ice shows, Plushenko spends most of his time traveling around the world. However, this long stopover in St. Petersburg comes with special meaning for the 2006 Olympic gold medalist.

He is currently preparing for a celebration to commemorate the birthday of his coach Alexei Mishin on March 8.

"It's a great date and we will make a large-scale show," Plushenko said. "We invited great skaters: Alexei Urmanov, Johnny Weir, Stephane Lambiel and many others. Alexei Mishin is a great coach and for me he's like a father. I plan to go on the ice three times during this performance with new and old programs."

Even though the Russian skater has lost his eligibility (on June 28, 2010, the International Skating Union announced he had lost his eligibility due to performing in skating shows without his federation's authorization) he continues to train hard for next season. He hopes that the penalties will be lifted in the late of March.

"Recently I was at the training camp in Novogorsk with Alexander Zhulin," he said. "We worked on my new program. I also do kickboxing with my special coach to involve all muscle groups. I'm not 18 years old, and apart from the coach and choreographer, I need different specialists: nutritionists, rehabilitation trainers and others.

Talking about the complexity of his new programs, Plushenko said that they would be pretty risky, and on a level that no one has ever seen before.

"Despite the disqualification, I continue to train and remain in a good shape. In my trainings I execute two quads -- Salchow and Riedberger -- and also an Axel with 3.5 turnover and other cascades. With this program I would pretend to high places even at the nearest world championships. I also learn other quads."

After the Olympic Games in Sochi, he intends to end his career as a skater and start coaching.

"I will make a farewell tour to Russia and worldwide," Plushenko told website baltinfo.ru. "After that, I will think about my own skating schools. I would like to repeat a great coaching career as it did my coach Alexei Mishin."